Sunday, December 30, 2012

Texas Independence

Haven't posted for awhile - just been too busy. Content here is getting stale, but who cares? No one reads this anyhow.

 Really frustrated following the news and the endless bureaucracy and "fiscal cliff" nonsense. why can't Texas just branch out of the mess and form it's own country again?

Or maybe since I'm just a slave to a statist system, I should just resign to it and just stop following the news.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Why I didn't like the Avengers movie

A couple reasons off the top of my head why I didn't like the Avengers movie:

The Loki guy looked a little too much like an angry Pee Wee Herman.  Plus I never quite followed the logic of what he was doing, why he allowed himself to get captured, what the deal was with the eyeball-scan thing he did on the guy, or how he even got to earth in the first place.

The Black Widow and Hawkeye characters served no purpose for the film.  The film would have been completely workable had their characters not even been there in the first place.  Compared to Hulk and Thor, they were pathetic in terms of what they brought to the team.  Ooooh, arrows!

What exactly does Nick Fury do?  And where did he vanish to during huge segments of time in the film?  Why didn't he show up at the NYC fight to help out or something, perhaps with other agents of SHIELD?

The Avengers had it's moments, but otherwise didn't really work for me.

Amish Paradise - Weird Al

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sting - They Dance Alone

I love this song.

 Hey Mr. Pinochet You've sown a bitter crop
It's foreign money that supports you
One day the money's going to stop
No wages for your torturers
No budget for your guns
Can you think of your own mother
Dancin' with her invisible son

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Snow White Ride at WDW

This one is so dated, and corny, but I love it. No doubt they'll replace it someday with a newer, stupid ride based on another film. RIP Mister Toad.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Enya "Watermark" and how I see the cover...

Every time I look at the Enya "Watermark" album, the fruity new age album of the late 80's, it looks sort of like a Spanish wrestler to the left spewing out a lot of red soup (or blood maybe?  Ewww...)

Maybe I've just studied it too long, or maybe, just maybe, you'll never see the album the same way again...?

Does anyone even listen to this album anymore?  I still get a kick out of it, although I still cannot understand anything that she's singing, either in Celt or English.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Annoying Orange - Ask President Marshmallow #1

This is the president that we should have elected...

How Much Time Can a Lay Elder Give to Ministry? | 9Marks

My thoughts on this 9Marks post on How Much Time Can a Lay Elder Give to Ministry?  There's just so much that I disagree with about this, but here's what I responded.  I can't help but feel like this is starving the flock and dividing the bride by men who can't make the church their full-time committment:

If I need open-heart surgery, I will NOT go to the guy who is an IT pro during the week but does double-bypass operations on the weekend...

If I need to take a flight to Europe, I will NOT go to the guy who repairs toasters during the week but flies DC-10's on the weekend...

How much more different than going to a man entrusted with the double-edged sword of God's word?  Why would I submit myself, my wife, and my children to the teaching of a novice, who isn't in the word as a full-time profession?  Save the baby-food teachers for the pentacostal and KJVO churches, and give me a spiritual leader who is a full-time teacher, full-time-theologian and full-time shepherd, and not waht Lloyd-Jones called a "hobbyist".

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Windows 8 - I want my START button!!!

Been fiddling more with Windows 8, and starting to hate it more and more.  The Start button is something so intuitive, so ingrained in my nature, that I can't function well without it.  Plus why is is that if I open anything in Win 8, I can't close it?  Where did the X in the upper-right corner go?  What crazy person redesigned this OS?  It's madness!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

R.I.P. Twinkies

Sorry to hear that the Twinkie empire was driven under by stingy union practices, but since I gave up eating these long ago (too much hydrogenated oil and preservatives and what not) it doesn't bother me much.  Still, going to miss seeing that iconic cowboy Twinkie character with the lasso.  Happy now, unions?  Everyone lost their jobs, and the world has lost the cowboy cupcake, and the punchline for many a joke about unhealthy eating.

Then again, those things never age, so they should just fill up a warehouse with them and then gradually auction them off over time for an exorbitant price.  They should at least preserve one in a museum somewhere...

Bing. Blah.

I've heard Bing referred to as the "Myspace of search engines", and there's definitely that feeling when I use it.  I don't get into it, and I really don't see what Bing offers that Google doesn't, other than an extremely stingy point-earning system that can be redeemed for gift cards or something.  To be honest, though, my searching is so scattered and irregular and often done without even thinking of a point system, that I'd just as soon use Goodsearch, that gives money to charity with search, and designate a charity then forget all about points being earned, because in the back of my head I know that it's automatically going to help others.  Otherwise, I'm wondering how many Bing points I have, and if I should redeem them or not, or just let them get forgotten.

I've compared the results of Bing vs. Google, and Google just seems so much more robust with what it returns.  I would think that both engines would have similar capacity to seek out and catalog the web - images/video, etc, but Google is just the champ.  I prefer Goodsearch for most general searches for information (99% of the time I'm just looking up the definition of a word of a bank phone number) but if I want to find something of depth, like what the group "Breathe" has been recording since the 1980's (apparently very little) then it's going to take something of Google magnitude.  As for Bing, I just don't see the appeal (nice splash images on their main page, though...)

Avengers Alliance PVP Time-Wasting

Playing Avengers Alliance has taught me that time-wasting can be a deep, bottomless well, especially when you're in player-vs-player mode, where there are some many other people out there in the world who waste just as much time as you do, if not more.

Although I'll give this guy credit: it looks like he's got Ghost Rider with Spiderman on a leash (it's actually not - just a strange placement, but nevertheless funny...)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Why I hate football

A man who plays football says to the world: "I hope to injure my spinal column in such a devastating way, through repeatedly being tackled, that I will be forced to live with chronic pain for the rest of my life, popping Motrin like M&Ms..."

A man who sits motionless watching football on television is telling his wife: "I'd rather not have intimacy with you, but I'd rather spend two hours watching young, muscular men grapple with one another."

A man who sits motionless watching football on television is telling his wife: "Those half-naked women cheering on the side-lines for every major team? I'd rather stare lustfully at them than at you..."

A man who sits motionless watching football on television is telling his wife: "A constant stream of commercials for beer, junk food, and semi-pornographic movies are far more important to me than quality time with you."

A man who sits motionless watching football on television is telling his children: "I'd rather watch strapping, fit young men through a ball around to one another, instead of spending time outside playing games with you."

A man who sits motionless watching football on television is telling his wife: "I'd rather sit inert and let fat congeal around my heart."

A man who sits motionless watching football on television is telling himself: "I'm wasting hours of my life watching men run around and grab one another for hours, followed by some of the men hauled off to hospitals, while the rest hurry off to take a collective shower. What have I accomplished?"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Raising the dead?

This makes me just a tad uncomfortable... Of course, the context of Jesus message where he commanded the raising of the dead... wasn't that directed to the apostles? Regardless, I'm not sure I agree with this guys exegesis, and a video like this would beg the question: how often should we do this? all the time? Should Christians just hang out at the morgue and just raise everyone? Or was this a passage directed at Jesus' immediate followers, and not necessarily one we should be applying to us today?

Human Torch vs. Human Torch

Marvel Avengers Alliance - a tremendously fun time-waster.  PVP - even more addictive.  But found a serious drag in PVP combat, and that's when Human Torch is paired against the Human Torch.  Both characters have a "flame on!" ability that causes them to regenerate health, so when it's down to these two clowns, the fight can really, really drag...

Why Go to Seminary?

Gospel Coalition had an excellent post today on Why Go to Seminary?  I would have left a comment but, alas, I'm either banned or Chrome is just acting up (likely the former - dang, I need to stop being so snarky in my comments, I know that's wrong.)  But I love everything about this post: the three or so readers of this blog know that I really do NOT like the idea of "lay elders" or "hobbyist preachers" or "tent-making elders", as I think it's ultimately starving the flock by having it led by a novice.  There are rare exceptions, sure, but not everyone is a Spurgeon...

There's much I enjoy, but I thought this was a particularly good point about the topic of friends built at seminary, something that the lay-elder can't really benefit from (or even, for that fact, the lone wolf online student, unless they are very lively in online chats and discussions, but not sure how far you'd be able to get with that.)  Here's a quote that's right on:

Good seminaries strengthen the unity between churches by building bonds between ministers. The friendships you build while you're in seminary will strengthen your ministry for years to come. The guy who sits next to you in 8 a.m. Hebrew class may someday lead his church to support your missionaries. The couple you meet at orientation may pray for you and your family for the rest of your life. The classmate you study with for a final may someday labor beside you for reformation in your denomination. So go to seminary, devote yourself to reading, and learn all you can from your professors. But don't fail to invest time in relationships while you're there.

All around Houston, there are plenty of novice pastors who need to be reading this TGC post.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Texas Secession - could something like this really happen?

I've been following some of the news stories about Texas succession, and this has me wondering if I'm situated in a state that will soon be it's own country... again.... or if this is just a lot of hype.  Of course, last time I checked, the secession petition was over 25,000, so maybe there's a possibility.  Or not.
Here's the petition, currently at 26,526.

(And I wonder if writing about this is going to put me on some watch list?  (I'm probably on a watch list by the Global Vasectomy Society...)

I'm not saying to sign this, but rather consider the consequences: Texas is a state with a fairly good economy, with plenty places that I've visited that seem to be all but recession proof.  Houses are affordable, and the jobs seem plentiful in Houston.  There wouldn't be a military, but then again, everyone I know on my street (heck, almost everyone I know in Texas) is armed to the teeth already, so wonder if something like this would work?  I expect the MSM will bury this with some stupid celebrity news stories, but what if it actually took off?

Hermeneutical Backflips

Was engaged in an interesting discussion this weekend with a friend about the Christian practice of "cherry-picking" parts of the New Testament that we like and don't like, particularly in reference to head coverings (I Cor. 11).  There are Christians who get so fired up over homos, but to be honest, I think this is a secondary issue to something like head coverings, which are spelled out pretty clearly as an ordinance by the apostle Paul, it was a practice followed for centuries, and only around the 1950's did Christians somehow "figure out" that head covering no longer allied to women (conveniently, around the same time that feminism came onto the scene.)  Wives of pastors and theologians don't like to wear head coverings, so they tell their husbands this, and their theologian husbands then do the hermeneutical back-flipping of explaining that head coverings of I Cor. 11 were actually "contextual" and "don't apply anymore" - not, I would argue, out of faithfulness to the Bible, but rather, to cover their backsides from the wrath of their wives.

Just a hunch.  Here's a nice summary of I Corinthians, a wonderful book of the NT...

Summary of 1st Corinthians

Kid's eat free! (oh, but with a catch!)

"Kids eat free!"  Well, actually, TWO kids can eat free, because the average, normal family would never freakishly have more than two nuclear children, so we ONLY support giving a free meal to children who fall into the nuclear model of only two children.  Two parents = two children.  What, you had more than two kids?  You freak!  Don't bother bringing all of your children into our restaurant, because they won't get to eat for free!

Three kids!?  Freakish!
Four!?  Are you insane!!?
Five or more?  Call Obama!!!  Time for population control measures!

Coming soon:  Free dinner for all men who can prove they had a vasectomy!

Friday, November 9, 2012

"Superman IV" - the Greatest Super Hero Film EVER!

I maintain that "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace", is not only the greatest of the Superman movies, and not only the greatest of all super hero films, but could possibly be considered one of the greatest films ever made.  This post was spawned from my recent viewing of the 'Avengers' film, which to me was just a big "meh" with a lot of CGI effects, but no soul (more on this in a future post).  Not like Superman IV!  Here are some thoughts as to why this film is so fantastic:

  • This was Christopher Reeve's last run as the man of steel, and by the fourth film, he had the character perfected.  All of the nuance of this hero, straight from the comic book, perfectly depicted on the silver screen.  Of course, meddling with human affairs across numerous countries and taking away millions of dollars in military weaponry to destroy it in the sun, all with a universal acceptance of the UN delegates, did seem a little peculiar.  But bah, who cares about plausibility in a Superman film?
  • Lex Luther returns, and he creates the Nuclear Man, the coolest of all villains, even cooler than Zod!  With all of Superman's powers plus crazy fingernails that cause nuclear poison, too!  Shame that he was so weak that when the sun was taken away he'd lose his powers, but thankfully, the moon orbits the sun, so he wasn't in the shadow of the moon for very long before regaining his powers again.
  • Lois Lane is back too, looking like she's aged 20 years since the first film!  Apparently Superman's "memory eraser" kiss must have had some sort of residual aging side-effect.  But hey, all that more intriguing!

I could go on and on, but the fact remains, Superman IV is the greatest super hero film ever.  I'll have more to say about this cinematic gem in future posts.  "Now Neophytos!" you might say, "What about the OTHER Superman films?"  And to that I say, "meh."

  • The first one was decent, but it did tend to drag with a little too much Marlon at the beginning.
  • The second one was ok, except for all of the blatant commercialism, and the totally icky romance with Superman and Lois Lane, including the ultra-icky 'Fortress of Solitude' segments.  Yuck!
  • The third one was terrible.  It was more Richard Pryor than anything else.  All I remember of that film is the opening, with Pryor standing in line in a smoky, stinky unemployment office, begging a smoke from some guy, while everyone around him smoked.  I've been unemployed, and been in unemployment offices, and they don't look anywhere near that smokey.  Oh, but Robert Vaughn was good in that... wonder if he's still alive.
  • Then Superman IV blew away all of the others.  
  • I refuse to accept the cannonicity of 'superman returns'.  It never happened, and if it did, I refuse to accept that Superman was a creep sneaking into windows late at night (and why didn't he just stun Luthor and his crony on the big kryptonite continent from a distance?  And how did he manage to pick up that thing, anyhow?  Ridiculous.)

I hear there's a new Superman film coming out.  Doubt it will be as good as "Superman IV".  This one was THE best of them all.  I need to go and watch it again...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

'Lincoln' movie - Looks stupid to me

I've given up on Spielberg - he hasn't made a decent film in decades, and I doubt Lincoln will be much better.

  • Why'd they pick an actor with such a wussy voice for Lincoln? 
  • And hasn't the Lincoln story been told to death in cinema?
  • And do they really expect me to believe that the writers in Hollywood will be telling an objective, historically-accurate story?  (history is just like science: it can be bent and warped and mangled depending on who it's being taught by)
  • And biggest question:  where are the vampires?

'Walking Dead' - I don't get into it

I worked through most of the first and second seasons of 'Walking Dead', and I just don't get into it.  It's got plenty of creepiness, but the problem is that the show is so stilted and padded with unbelievably dull and unconvincing character dialog that's so frequently dry and irritating, to the point that I just skipped ahead after one boring conversation after another.

The sub-plots seem might contrived, such as Sheriff Rock's boy getting shot by a deer hunter, a hunter who conveniently has a doctor nearby to bring the boy to (oh, but he's a veterinarian, so that helps tone down the ridiculousness factor.... riiiiight.  He's a veterinarian that knows all about removing bullets and fixing ruptured internal arteries and doing blood transfusions, because those are all things that veterinarians do on a regular basis..."Hurry!  We need to find another Saint Bernard with type O-negative blood!")

The violence, and periodic sexual content, definitely makes this a non-family friendly program, and is disgusting enough to make this a non-rational-neophytos-friendly program too.  Killing zombies by stabbing them in the eye sockets with a screwdriver... oh yeah, thanks for that unpleasant bit of nausea...

What floors me is that they have a "Walking Dead" shooting game in the toy section of the local Walmart.  I ranted about this before, but it bears repeating, if for no other reason than a justification to add 'walmart' as a label to this post.  Why do they carry garbage like that?

The big problem with "Walking Dead" is that there's no clear picture of where this gang is going and why.  By the end of season 2, it seemed like the Rick guy was flipping out, and then the camera pans to a prison.  Why?  Is it filled with zombies or is Rick going to lock everyone up?  Well, frankly, I don't care enough to find out and I won't be bothering with this goofy show anymore.

Besides, the thing about zombies is, how do they see?  Wouldn't flies and bugs be all over their rotting eye sockets?  So what do they do, smell the living humans?  Even that is wacky as the soft nose tissue would all start rotting and falling off too.  Little details like this, though, don't matter to the story-writers with AMC, I suppose, but it is one of those things I wonder about (that, and how is it that with time and bacterial decomposition zombies don't just all fall apart, as Poe once wrote, into a "nearly liquid mass of loathsome—of detestable putrescence."  If these zombies are a result of disease, what exactly holds them together an animates them?

Well, whatever.  It's been a slow day and I posted way too much here.  I need a life.

Tax break for Vasectomy?

I wonder if Obamacare will someday give tax breaks for men to get vasectomies? Seems like the type of stupid thing that this administration would do. I suppose this is more of a brief, Twitter-style thought, but then again, I hate Twitter and won't use it, so suppose I have to put this thought here...

Dixie-Chick Foot-in-Mouth Disease

Years ago I remember all of the stink about the Dixie Chicks and how the squirrelly-little lead singer Natalie Maines (who sounds more like the whines of a tortured cat than actual singing) made some remarks about George W and the war in Iraq, and there was a big hoopla that followed. What really struck me, though, wasn't necessarily the comment, but rather, the nutty foot-in-mouth syndrome that resulted when the following happens:

A celebrity/actor/singer makes a nutty comment that has NOTHING to do with their craft!

I don't know why this isn't more common sense. If you're a singer... sing, and be quiet about politics. If you're an actor... act, and shut your mouth about politics. For crying out loud, I pay to see Matt Damon jump from rooftop to rooftop trying to recover his lost memory, not to hear his snooty opinions about politicians. Unless you are a political pundit full-time, well, don't give up your day job to let us know what you think. We don't care! You just come across looking stupid, you alienate people, and your sales go down the toilet! There are seriously actors that I will not support or watch simply because I can't stand political remarks and comments they've made.

A recent example I can think of, oddly, was Dr. Andrew Weil, the bald, bushy-bearded health and nutrition guy. I really used to enjoy him and his teaching, but I was listening to one of his books the other day, and for no reason at all, he starts ranting and railing about stem cell research and how terrible the opposition of the so-called "religious right" is. What the heck? One minute he's giving valid nutritional and scientific data, the next he's spewing out his political views. I seriously stopped listening and I won't listen to anything else he has to say. Why? BECAUSE I WANT TO HEAR HIM TALK ABOUT NUTRITION, NOT HIS INANE POLITICAL VIEWS!!! It's not just because I do believe that stem cells represent the very earliest - and viable - stage of human life, but it's because I didn't get the audio book to listen to him talk about that. I got it to listen to science and nutrition, not pushy appeals for Josef Mengele-style human experimentation on human life and inane political accusations.

(and for the record, I'm NOT a part of any "religious right" - I consider myself more of a "religious removed-from-politics". Politics revolt me, and no one, left or right, fairly represents Christianity, so I'd prefer to separate my beliefs with anything going on in Washington - especially from characters like Sarah Palin. I've studied enough history to know that when Catholics and Anglicans run the State, that it's the genuinely faithful Christians who live peacefully and believe the truth of the Bible that are the most heavily persecuted, tortured and killed. But I'm getting off-topic...)

Dr. Weil - when you read this, do me a favor: talk about vitamins, nutrition, supplements, exercise, probiotics, organic farming, raw milk, clean water, etc. Leave your sophomoric political views out of things. You lost my support. And this goes for all of you singers and actors. To put it another way...

(sing to the melody of Stevie Wonder's most awesome "Higher Ground")
Singers.... keep on singin'
Actors.... keep on actin'
(and keep your politics out of it!)

BTW - I've long wondered what it would look like if Dr. Andrew Weil and butter-cooking woman Paula Deen had a child. Well, via the magic of Photoshop, here you go!

"Super Earths" - and why aren't we there yet?

Stories like this one about the potential of other earth-like planets really has me wondering why we aren't there already.  This is the type of thing that scientists should be concentrating, not with nonsensical speculations about apes turning into men and other valueless recreations.  If anyone believes that "science has all the answers" (which it doesn't....  It has some good answers, and a lot of BAD one's too, like asbestos, chemical warfare, killer pharma, nuclear waste and fallout, etc) should realize that space exploration is THE thing to be focusing on.  Not stupidity about fish turning into lizards, but rather, how the heck do we get working warp engines.

If you go to a bookstore, instead of seeing shelves filled with goofballs speculating about stupid things like evolution, there should be TOMES of books about space travel, star ships, and warp engines (the stuff of Star Trek should be the stuff of reality by now.)  There's nothing I hate more than going to a science website or magazine and reading pages about neanderthal nonsense.  For crying out loud, get us into space first, and then speculate your silly caveman ideas!

If I was a scientist, that would be my focus and path.  As it stands, I nearly failed every science class I took because, while I like the ideas, I hate the actual study.  Go figure.

Space exploration should be THE prime focus of all science, followed closely by the science of making the environment safer, followed then by the science of making food and water safer and cleaner.  But I don't hear nearly enough about these subjects, and instead it's just scientific monkey business.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

10 Questions a Pro-Choice Candidate Is Never Asked by the Media

Gospel coalition had this post recently: 10 Questions a Pro-Choice Candidate Is Never Asked by the Media

But I think they missed out on the biggest one:  "What about the medical side effects of abortion?  Are women being fairly and honestly informed about the medical consequences of a surgical abortion, both immediate and long-term?"  From a strictly naturalistic viewpoint, abortion is NEVER safe.  It's foolish to ever apply a word like that to a procedure in which a woman has an unborn child surgically destroyed and vacuumed from the body.  A back-alley abortion could be considered "more" dangerous compared to a hospital-setting abortion, sure, but even at a hospital, or a posh abortion clinic, the fact remains: when a woman gets a DNC, it isn't safe, and there are plenty of medical risks such as uterine puncture, hemorrhaging, scarring, internal bleeding, side-effects from the medication, etc, etc.

Yes, natural childbirth is dangerous, I'll agree, but I think comparing abortion to natural childbirth is something of a false dichotomy. Natural childbirth, by it's very nature, is a natural process in which a woman, with minimal (if any) intervention, delivers a child. It doesn't need to be done in a hospital, and technically can be done without a doctor or nurses or major intervention of any major degree. Not so abortion. You can't just "naturally" have an abortion: there are doctors are nurses required, and drugs, and for a standard D&C-style procedure, there needs to be a hospital room, medical equipment, drugs, and a lot of HUMAN intervention, which can in many respects be prone to error (check out some of the YouTube "abortion clinic 9-11 calls" sometime).

 Abortion clinics generally do NOT have all of the full medical facilities/specialists that a standard hospital ER will have, so if something goes wrong during the abortion surgery, a 9-11 call needs to be made to take the woman from the abortion clinic to the hospital. The abortion-breast cancer link is another issue as well. Plenty of good research suggesting a connection, and even more convincing that there is a risk is the fact that mainstream media routinely buries these stories about a connection - and if the MSM buries a story, you know there's truth to it. And if there is no connection, then where on earth is this epic breast cancer epidemic coming from lately?

Abortion is never safe, regardless of where and how it's done, and women need to be adequately informed.  Laws should mandate that women are fully informed before the surgery so that they know exactly what the risks are.  There needs to be more objective research done into the abortion/cancer risk as well.

Things I learned from the 2012 election...

This last election was all about Obama vs. a lesser version of Obama
Mitt wasn't really all that different from Obama.  He wouldn't have come into office and radically cut back government and spending.  It would have just been more of the same.  Honestly, I don't care for Obama's platform or his grizzly, unborn-child-hating policies, but I find I care just as less for Mormon-cult-following Romney.  Yeah, I voted for Romney, but only as a protest against the incumbent, and not to support the cultist (in fact, from a religious standpoint, I'd rather have a nominal-Muslim like Obama in office than a Mormon and a Roman Catholic.  The idea of a Roman Catholic president is the stuff of nightmares, as it's a much worse cult than Mormonism that teaches a grotesque, satanic blending of church and state, with a long bloody history of burning baptists like me.

The mainstream media is a joke
The MSM is just a giant Obama hype machine and...

You know what... I'm ending this post before I even get going, because a giant lightning bolt of realization just hit me:  I really don't care.  No more politics tags for me.  I'm sick of it all, and I'd rather write about something else.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

There is no such thing as a vegetarian

I've been thinking about the fact that, as human beings, there really is no such thing as a vegetarian, or, more precisely, someone who's existence does not exist at the cost of other lives.  I don't care about arbitrary and nonsensical distinctions like vegetarian or vegan or ova-lacto-vegan and similar stupidity:  just being alive, your soul inhabits a shell that is covered with bacteria, good and bad, and that your own body is a bacteria-destroying machine from birth to death.  A bacteria is a living organism, just as much as a cow is, and simply by existing, you kill bacteria.  Your gut and digestive system daily kills countless microscopic organisms.  Just being alive, you destroy other lives.  And there's no way to be alive, and be human, without doing so, unless you were just a brain in a jug of chemicals, I suppose.

So really, there are just varying degrees of being carnivorous.  You can be on the low side, and be a living, breathing bacteria killer, killing countless microscopic organisms daily, or on the high side, like me, and enjoy BLTs for lunch while also subsequently having my body killing bacteria.

The point is this:  you can't be alive without killing something.  Depending on the plants you eat, like cabbage, you'd have to kill the plant to get the cabbage on your plate.  And even a fruitarian, eating only fruits that fall from trees, would have to kill grass walking to the tree, or kill bugs and organisms on the ground by walking, or driving, or just periodically snorting a fruit fly up the nose.
Our bodies are non-stop bacteria killers.  Bacteria is no less alive than a cow or a fish.  There is no such thing as a vegetarian.  We all take lives deliberately or in-deliberately, whether or not we like it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

George Lucas: Epic Sellout

I've been thinking about the news recently about George Lucas selling out  (figuratively and literally) the Star Wars franchise to Disney, and I frankly don't care anymore.  The Star Wars franchise is so overly-marketed and so saturated with garbage, that it's impossible to tell what fits into the actual universe and what doesn't.  I've found myself getting sick of Star Wars over the last few years, especially with the Clone Wars, which seems to just be a video game with far too much light saber and ever more panning of a otherwise boring transition time between Episode 2 and 3 (we know Anakin goes bad, and we know Palpatine is the puppet master of everything, and it's just puppet-characters all fighting one another, so what's the appeal of the show anyhow?)

But more than anything with this story of Lucas selling Disney  I think the lamest thing of all is would be that he sold the one token feature of his empire that really gave him identity.  Sure, he was known for American Graffiti  Indiana Jones (making it great initially and also ruining it years later), Willow, and that dull sci-fi film with the bald people.  Oh, and Howard the Duck. But Star Wars was THE thing he was known for, and he just off and sold the one token identification that you think of when you think of George Lucas.  I guess I just don't get it.  Maybe he's like me and he's just sick of Star Wars.  "Here, take it, pay me for it, and do what you want with it."

It has no appeal to me.  I could care less about an episode 7, and if it was made, would likely wait for it to hit NetFlix instead of wasting the money.  I think George should have just wrapped up the series and put it to rest.  Disney is just going to goof it up, or have Gore Verbinski direct it with a dull and repetitive Hans Zimmer score, and chock it full of unrealistic and non-convincing Pixar special effects.  Blah.  I don't care.

George, you should have just put the franchise to rest yourself, buddy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Reformation Day!

Martin Luther, pounding the 95 Theses into the Wittenberg door.... with his FIST!  Shortly thereafter, the corrupt Roman Catholic empire crumbled.

Happy Reformation Day!  

Shame on all you pastors that starved your flocks today and didn't host a Reformation Evening service, to celebrate with worship and praise our risen savior Jesus Christ on this wonderful, eventful holiday.  Greater shame on you pastors if you went out demonically "trick or treating", while neglecting to give your congregations good spiritual Hebrews 5 food, as today, of all days, is the day to celebrate and appreciate the glorious Reformation freedom of the church today - freedom to own Bibles in English, freedom to correctly observe the ordinances, freedom from the satanic papist grip, freedom from the perverse and devilish fusion of church and state.  Tonight was the night to celebrate the Reformation... and did you?

The more you neglect it, the more easier it will be for the papists to steal it all away someday.  With Roman Catholics there is no such thing as ecumenicism - there is only the cold, cruel will of the Mother church, enforced through inquisition.  You do her will or you die by fire.  History over and over again cries out with the blood of the martyrs... don't forget them in an ocean of candy that you let your children beg from the strangers of the neighborhood tonight.

Don't forget the Reformation.  It has never ended.

Another year, another absence of Reformation Day Parties

You'd think that a google search for something like "Reformation Day Party Houston Texas" would bring back something... anything.... but it doesn't.  I just don't get it.  EVERY PROTESTANT CHURCH IN THIS COUNTRY should be celebrating on the the 31st - celebrating that the church of Jesus Christ is no longer under the oppressive, satanic grip of the Papists.  EVERY CHURCH should mark the 31st as an evening for families to gather at the church, to celebrate their freedom, to worship with singing, to read from Bibles that we are FREE to own, that the satanic forces of Roman Catholicism can no longer prevent us from owning.  But instead it seems like most evangelical Christians just get caught up in the nonsense of Halloween, and sending their children off, dressed as monsters, to beg neighbors and strangers for candies filled with dyes and deadly chemicals.  WHY?

The Reformation is one of the single-most important events in the history of the church - so why isn't it celebrated globally in evangelical churches?

I think that pastors do far more HARM than good by avoiding a formal celebration of the Reformation on Oct. 31st, and do even more harm by participating in trick or treating, as they are basically telling their congregation, "hey folks, forget that whole Reformation thing, and just go out and beg strangers for candy."

That isn't shepherding.

That isn't leading a flock.

That's condescending to the spirit of the age.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lloyd-Jones on Lay Pastors

Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses this much better than I could.  I've long disliked the idea of a "lay elder" or "lay preacher", or in other words, a guy who works with computers during the week and then somehow on Sunday is competent enough to lead a congregation in worship?  Give me a break. 
If I go to see a doctor, it's a doctor who is full-time in his practice, not a guy who practices medicine "only on Sunday".  From Chapter 6 of "Preaching and Preachers" (p. 100) (my highlights added)

The first principle I would lay down is that all Christians are clearly not meant to do this, and that not even all Christian men are meant to preach, still less the women! In other words we must consider what is called 'lay-preaching'. This has been practised very commonly for a hundred years and more. Prior to that it was comparatively rare, but it has become very common. It would be interesting to go into the history of that, but time prohibits our doing so. The interesting thing to notice is that this change once more, was primarily due to theological causes. It was the shift in theology last century from a Reformed Calvinistic attitude to an essentially Arminian one that gave rise to the increase in lay-preaching. The explanation of that cause and effect is that Arminianism, ultimately, is non-theological. That is why most denominations today are generally non-theological. That being the case it is not surprising that the view gained currency that preaching was open to almost any man who had become a Christian, and later, any woman also.

My assertion is that this is an unscriptural view of preaching. There are of course exceptional circumstances where this may be necessary; but I would then query as to whether it is actually 'laypreaching'. What I mean by exceptional circumstances is that it may well be the case, owing to the state and the condition of the Church lack of means and so on-that the Church may not be in a position to support a man full-time in the work of the ministry, and particularly preaching. Definitions are important at this point. The modem view of lay-preaching, largely derived from the teaching of Methodism and Brethrenism, is that this should be the normal practice and not the exception, and that a preacher is a man who earns his living in a profession or business, and preaches, as it were, in his spare time.

(Also helps reinforce the idea that Methodists often get things wrong, too)

What the..? NOOOOOO!!!.

But.... Captain America and my friends....

I've got the shakes...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

18 Carat Affair - Lovely (Dadaisme edit)

You don't mess with Quicksilver!

Boom!  Captain America simply stands back and watches as Quicksilver goes on a bad-guy bashing holiday.  Yes, this game is a total time-waster, but man that guy can clear a level fast!

PlugDJ, Turntable, and why I DON'T like this format for streaming internet music

I've been messing with two Internet music streaming sites recently, PlugDJ and, and after testing these out for a while have determined that it's not just that I don't like these sites, but rather, I don't like the format of community DJ'ing of music like this.  Here's a list in no real order of things that bothered me about this format of listening to music, and why I'll stick with LastFm and Spotify (I work in tech all day and listen to roughly 8-9 hours a day of streaming music to help me concentrate, so I spend an INSANE amount of time evaluating new sites like this).  Here are some thoughts:

Community radio means that you periodically have to listen to garbage
And it's not just about listening to garbage, but it's about that fact that unlike LastFm and Pandora, you can't skip tracks.  Sure, you can give it a "Meh" rating, but you can't skip it.  So you either have to mute the song or just take off your headset and go get more coffee, vs. LastFm where you just ban the track and instantly skip it.  Problem solved.

Sure, there was plenty of good, new music in some of these DJ rooms, but plenty that was awful again, including someone including this (presumably as a joke - they were shortly after booted from the room...)


Limited number of rooms and/or available DJ spots
Going through the lobby, there were a limited number of stations I was interested in listening to, and if there was some genre I'd want to join, there's no open DJ spots.  Which is fine if all you want to do is listen to music, but if that's the case, why wouldn't I just go to LastFm where I can at least skip the songs I don't like?

Profanity in room titles and music/video selection (and no way to filter it)
If people want to listen to expletive-laden rap music, whatever, but I don't, and I'd prefer to have some filter system that can cut out garbage like that.  Same with language used in the chat or in the room titles.  Whatever, I'm old fashioned, but I just want the music and the titles without a bunch of !@#$% describing the name of the room.

Strange abuses of the system
I've also been in some rooms where if you DJ and for some reason play music that is slightly askew of what the others are playing (and I'm not talking about the sax guy, but just somehow slightly off of what the bulk of other music is) you get booted from the room for an hour without a warning.  What on earth...?
Even stranger is that I've found some rooms where if you vote DOWN certain songs, you get booted from the stage (with no clear answer as to why - no dialog in the chats or anything.)  This alone is frustrating enough in that, if I don't want to DJ, the other option is just to enter a room and just listen to music, that I can't skip, so instead of that, just give me a service like LastFm where I have the freedom to skip songs!

Buggy systems
Here are some of the bugs I've noticed with both of these.  turntableFM frequently would just link to a dead, black room, and no amount of refreshing would do anything to make the room load.  Backing out and picking a different room would frequently do the same thing.
PlugDJ fared a little better, but would really be a massive drain of system resource, being someone who's not using a top of the line computer.  Other tabs would completely freeze, and it actually managed to kill my Internet connection(!).  Beyond just that, videos would freeze and frequently need to be refreshed.

Final thoughts:
Both of these sites offer an interesting alternative to the standard streaming music, but the negatives outweigh the positives for me.  If there was some sort of skipping/banning option, maybe this would have potential, but I suppose that the nature of a DJ program would be that you have to just sit and listen to whatever is broadcast, even if it's a 1:00 clip of 'My Little Ponies' singing.  I'll stick with LastFm.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Why I voted for Mitt today...

Went to the polls today for the basic purpose not of voting FOR Mitt, but rather for voting Obama out of the Whtie House. This is the first election I think that I've ever been to where I haven't cared at all about the candidate that I voted for, but rather, I will vote for whoever is the leading candidate that isn't Obama.

He's basically blown 4 years, with his only legacy being a ridiculous medical care tax to get burdened with. The economy isn't much better, food is insanely expensive, we're still sending troops all around the middle east, and I don't see how things are any better off. I'd like him gone.  Now.

Understand that I'm not crazy about Mitt and his false gospel cult beliefs, nor the fact he's on the same pro-abortion band-wagon, but he has one thing going for him: he's not Obama. And he appears to be leading Obama in several of the swing states, so he's got my vote.  I hope the guy wins, even though I don't care much for him.

Now enough about politics. I hate politics. But this time of year, in an election year, it's all you hear about. So I've voted, and I'm done with it. If Obama wins, we have Nebucadnezzer for another 4 years (and maybe he'll go nutty and grow his hair long and start eating grass). But enough: my vote is cast. I'm going to start reading more about the Mennonites, or Martyn-Lloyd Jones, or something else more interesting...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fiends with Benefits

I created this Photoshop stupidity on my old blog, and felt it deserved a reposting, as I see garbage films like this all the time advertised at Walmart.  I can't figure out Walmart: are they supposed to be a family-oriented, family-friendly business, or just a massive, soulless conglomerate out to decimate the entirety of the free market in this country?  Ahhh, what good does it do for me to lament, I spend far too much money there.  But why do they have to openly advertise and sell garbage films like this one?  I felt like my intelligence level dropped a few notches just from being unfortunate enough to see the trailer for this film (the trailer was enough to dissuade me NOT to support movie theaters anymore.  I'm starting to think Hollywood can't make a decent film anymore...)

Sports in the Age to Come... not quite

There was a post over on Desiring God about the topic of sports that got me thinking.  The writer, opening with "will there be touchdowns in the new creation?" more or less delved into a somewhat ridiculous endorsement of the idea of sports in heaven, with a thought that sports are something of as a foretaste of heaven.  Of course, the writer didn't bother citing anything about the half-naked women cheering for the players, the brutality and violence of games like football that frequently send men to the hospital, or the plethora of comericals on television for sexually-explicit films, alcohol, and junk food consumption (nor, on the subject of watching sports, how being a lethargic, motionless couch potato while watching sports is a way to "waste one's life", ironic on Piper's blog.

I really don't get into sports, and I really don't get into pastor endorsing sports.  I think the negatives of sports far out-weigh any positives.  I've known of far too many people personally who lament their chronic, life-long physical pain and disability that resulted from sporting events played during their youth.  If Christian kids need a good physical outlet, instead of stupidity involving throwing a small ball around, why don't they build a house for someone in need, or find some other outlet to use their energy, other than blasting out a kneecap while throwing an inflated ball through a hoop?

More on this later, but this post just had me thinking (and blogs that don't allow comments invariably have me leaving my goofy thoughts here instead.)

Friday, October 19, 2012 probably a lot of fun if....

I just read a review of and wanted to check this out, but no matter what "room" I select from the lobby, every room is just blank.  Browser doesn't seem to matter at all either.

Sounds like a cool idea, being able to tune into an internet radio station with others and either listen to songs and rate them, or even be the DJ and spin the songs that you like - very novel idea.  But every time I try to select a room to listen to music, all I get is the blank screen above.  No javascript error or anything.

Maybe they've banned me already?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Jimmy Buffett, lover of alcohol

Even though he tends to remove my comments, I still enjoy Russell Moore's podcast of music, and I just listened to his broadcast on the music of Jimmy Buffett: A Pirates Life at Forty by Jimmy Buffett and had some thoughts on this.

For years I've HATED the music of Jimmy Buffett, as every song he sings has something to do with alcohol and intoxication, and that's just something I really don't get into. I used to work with a bunch of older women at a small office years ago, and all of them were fans of Buffett and his drinking music (as well as smoking and NASCAR). I never saw the appeal of his music, and Buffett struck me as the type of ornery drunk you'd generally want to avoid. I mean, does he have anything else, other than booze, to sing about? If so, I haven't heard it, and yes, I have heard other songs than the awful "Margarittaville" song - I've got internet radio cranking almost all day, so whenever I hear his music, I hastily skip it.

I'd like to hear Jimmy Buffett sing some songs about rehab. Perhaps some imaginary songs about how his wife left him because of his alcoholic rages, or his tendency to spend all of his wealth on drink (not sure if that actually happened or not, but it would make for a good song.) Maybe even a song about a drinking binge that led to a hospitalization? Or songs about being in a bar, drinking too heavily, and then violently vomiting all over the floor next to Cliff and Norm. Whatever. Can't stand his music.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pharmaceutical Discrimination

A pediatrician near us refuses to take new patients who refuse to vaccinate their children, and on considering this policy, I couldn't help but think of how Nazi that policy sounded. "We don't care what you think or what you've read or what research you've done: if you refuse the drugs that we mandate, we will not treat you." So in other words, it's an acceptable form of discrimination based on one's personal views about the efficacy and safety of vaccines. Good thing the government will step in to investigate inhuman medical practices like this...
It is the choice of these doctors, I suppose, but it reflects very poorly on their practice. I've long wondered if pharma-crazy doctors like this get a big bonus check for the volume of mercury-laden drugs they push into kids each year? I think of friends of ours who have a severely mentally-disabled child, who was (wrongly) administered an overdose of vaccines (the medical records were lost, so the shots were given again.) And of course, the vicious mental damage that the child received from these drugs, disabling him mentally for life, making him incapable of working or accomplishing things with his life, all just happened for no reason - just out of the blue. No connection to the shots (even though the symptoms started to manifest shortly thereafter.) I mean, historically, this happened to people all through history, right? Even back before vaccines - children just suddenly, for no reason, would just manifest autism symptoms, right, doctor?

And you know, if there was ever a solid, definitive study to be released, conclusively linking vaccines to autism and mental disorders, it would be completely marginalized and buried. Doctors would never be allowed to read it, and even if they did, they would ignore it in favor of the pro-drug propaganda in glossy color.  This is just a part of why I would never be a medical doctor. Your primary purpose is to sell drugs. Sellouts with no genuine concern about the health of their patients.

How can I find a local Reformation Day party?

Every year around this time I'm searching around the web for a local church offering any sort of Reformation Day party on Halloween, and, sadly, finding nothing.

I'm still between churches now, so don't have a local pastor to bug with this idea, but honestly I shouldn't need to. EVERY protestant church should be celebrating the Reformation on Oct. 31st! Everywhere I look online, there are no Reformation Day parties or events. I've exhausted Google with all of my searching, but alas, there are absolutely no churches doing anything on October 31st to celebrate the Reformation around my area. What's wrong with you pastors!!! The only thing I've been able to find are "pumpkin patches" at some area churches, but what good is that theologically? How is that celebrating the gallant efforts of the reformers? (then again, these are Methodist churches hosting these events, so no surprise they are lacking in doctrine and substance.)

Some Baptist churches have "Festivals" going on, but these are just games and candy. Don't people want to read about the reformers to their congregation, or do they just want to poison their kids with processed white sugar and dyes? What's the point, if all you're doing is having a candy party? I mean, if the Reformation is that meaningless to you, pastors, then why not just give your congregation instructions to go and trick-or-treat with their kids? Are there ANY pastors in the world that actually practice Richard Baxter-direction for their congregations? Why not just line up to go and apologize to the Pope?

Speaking of the papists, even the local catholic churches don't do anything to celebrate the Reformation and.... oh, yeah, I forgot, the Reformation is when the catholic church got stomped by the sola scriptura super-heroes, so I guess they don't think too favorably of Oct. 31st (to them it's just another "let's pray to some dead saints" holiday or something...) Don't forget the Reformation. If you do, don't be surprised if we lapse back into history of the Bible and the church suppressed and the papists burning Christians all over again...

Monday, October 15, 2012

"This Means War" - stupid film redesigned by Neophytos!!!

So I was stuck in line at Walmart the other day (and my three readers already know my feelings about Walmart...) and to the side were some awful DVDs, particularly one featuring my least favorite actress ever, Reese Wither Spoon, called "This Means War". I stood there studying the image on the cover, with a photoshopped Reese flanked by two guys, the one on the left who played the second-rate Captain Kirk in the Star Trek re-launch (aka another nail in the coffin of the franchise) and the other guy was, I dunno, some other guy...

But here's the thing: the Captain Kirk guy - something about his head is wrong.  It seems to be freakishly misshapen, whereas the guy on the right, his head above the eyebrows seems to be freakishly smaller, almost as if there was a terrible transporter beam malfunction and cranial substance was swapped from one to the other.  See what I mean?

So, I decided to do something about this, and broke out trust ol' Photoshop, and made some changes.  I think what happened was, in a terrible transporter accident, the Kirk-guy had his upper-head swapped with the guy on the right.  So, like a good Scotty, I made things right and fixed the transporter accident.  Check it out...
The Kirk guy now looks like someone you'd see in a catalog while waiting to get a haircut, but at least his head seems more properly proportioned, I think.  And the guy on the right looks like a guy from my college Algebra class.  But something is still wrong... let me think....
Ah yeah, Reese has got to go.  To make this movie a lot better, she needs to be erased from this film, and instead, these dueling guys need to be competing for the affection of a woman with a lot more style, character, and acting prowess.  I've got it!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Goldeneye Game

Had a lot of fun with the original Goldeneye for the N64, way back in the day.  If I had time, and money, I might checkout the revamped version of the game.

Thinking back about it, I realize how corny the game sprites are for this, but who cares - deathmatch was a blast.  Was one of the more memorable FPS games I can think of...

To be 'King James Only' is Patently Ridiculous and Cultish

I'm a big fan of sermon audio, but they really need to do something about the ridiculous plethora of "King James Only" sermons, which beyond just being absurd, have something of a cultish nuance.

"Corruption" vs. the "pure Bible"?  For crying out loud, the King James is a great translation, but it isn't perfect. And holding to ridiculous views such as "double inspiration" isn't just wrong, but it treads into the area of false gospel. If you have to use the KJV, and any other translation is a corruption, then that would condemn millions around the world (self included) for not following this ridiculous teaching a misguided pastor, who has lost track of what the Apostle Paul warned the church at Galatia:

As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (Gal. 1:9) - NIV

The gospel is repentance and belief in Jesus Christ, God's free gift of salvation to sinners. It's repentance, belief, and has nothing to do with reading only a certain Bible. Yet there's a cultish edge, where people using other translations seem to be accursed. The KJVO camp is teaching another gospel, and they should heed the words of Paul to the Galatians, as they also got caught up in the same kind of gospel-plus teaching that lead to their condemnation. SermonsAudio - clean out your sermon library of the KJVO silliness.

Hey NetFlix, a suggestion...

Hey Netflix, a suggestion for you:

Not all of your NetFlix users are complete crooks and swindlers.  Believe it or not, a few of your users are actually honest people who are faithful to return the DVD's on a regular basis so that new films from the queue can continue to be circulated.  So in light of this, if you have users who are, for the most part, consistently honest straight-shooters, why not make the system a little bit easier for them and allow them to have the benefit of the doubt that they returned a film, and let them get their next disc faster.

Here's a suggestion:  add this option next to a film, so they can mark that it's in the mail, and send out their next film faster:

A simple checkbox to say that, yes, I have the film in the mail.  Please send me the next one.  If a person has a good track record with returning their DVD's on time and promptly, why not allow this checkbox, so that a user can specify that they have a film headed back, and they can get their next film more quickly?

I realize there could be the potential for abuse.  For instance, if a person has the two film rental plan, and they have two films checked out, and they have both marked "in the mail", at most they have 4 films are one point if they are being dishonest.  Is that really that big of a deal?  You check their account, and if they have 4 films out, they get no more until something is returned.  If they also consistently abuse the system, remove the 'in the mail' option for that person.

Best case: you vest the respect of members like me who regularly check the queue and return films faithfully, and make me want to stick with NetFlix for a long time.
Worse case: you give dishonest people the ability to check out 4 films.  But if there is abuse of the system, and people repeatedly hang on to 4 films at a time, you take away the "in the mail" option from that particular person.

Think about it, Netflix.  Postal mail is a drag, and this would help speed up the turn-around.


P.S. Why won't you share a customer service email address?

New IRD posted

Every now and then I'll comment on posts from my other blog, "Intelligently Redesigned Doonesbury", since I usually just post the modified comics over there without any comments. It's no secret that I hate Doonesbury (nothing against Trudeau personally, I just can't stand his odorous liberal bias) so I've taken this other blog and used it as a vehicle to re-write Doonesbury to actually make it funny. All done as satire, of course.

Anyhow, in this weeks comic, I usually aim to keep the dialog as untouched as possible, expecially the size of the dialog balloons, but this week I coundn't help it: I had to expand the final balloon to fit a much better punchline.  Yeah, I messed up the border size, but who cares: it's just a stupid satirical version of a satirical comic strip.

If there wasn't such a liberal stench to this comic, I probably wouldn't even bother, but the obnoxious nature of this comic just lends itself to a satirical rewrite...

Friday, October 5, 2012

The REAL Halloween Danger... forgetting the Reformation

I have fun sometimes surfing around SermonAudio to find some of the more unusual messages from time to time. Don't get me wrong: SermonAudio is a wealth of solid, expository teaching. But there is the occasional bit of loopiness (particularly regarding the patently ridiculous 'King James Only' messages that make their way onto the site.) Here's an entertaining message: not heavy on Scripture, but rich in the dangers of Halloween:

What's disappointing is that the message just goes through the superficial trappings and generalitites of halloween (and the dangers of Harry Potter, of course) but doesn't go as heavy as I'd like to into the Christian response - or, even into the alternatives to Halloween, which would be Christian remembrance of the Reformation, also on Oct. 31st, but an event far more impactful to the lives of believers (KJVO'ers like to get hung up on the double-inspiration of those amazing Anglican translators of King James court, but they lose sight of the history behind the reformation that, had it never happened, we'd all be polishing the Pope's shoes under a continuing wicked tyranical and ungodly fusion of church and state. Priorities, pastors, priorities.  Rome used to burn men like us just for teaching something other than their own false doctrines...)

This time of year, I generally lament how there are NO churches that do anything to remember the reformation at all: Oct. 31st evening speakers to teach the congregation about some of the reformational powerhouses like Luther, Huss, Wycliffe, Calvin, etc.) Instead, pastors either get onto the trick-or-treating bandwagon, or they just host equally enane Halloween alternatives at the church, giving out the same unhealthy candy but without all of the demonic constuming. Pastors, please, don't forget that it was the Reformation that freed us from the yoke of Rome, and remind your parisheners this time of year. And beyond.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Five Things I Hate about Walmart

I really hate Walmart, and not just because I gave them over $10,000 for food and merchandise over the last year.  Rather it has to do with the fact that if I'm going to give them so much money I'd prefer that they didn't have so many practices that I found annoying.  Here's a list of things in no particular order that bug me about Walmart, as if anyone cares...

Elimination of greeters

Greeters at the door were one of the few touches of humanity at Walmart.  I remember well growing up and seeing the grizzled old vet, with all of his pins on his Korean War hat, who's chat with people coming in, shaking hands, patting backs.  How can the Walmart powers not understand that making people FEEL GOOD when they walk into a store is a GOOD thing?  Now, I walk into Walmart now and I experience cold emptiness and fear.  There's generally no one around, and you get a cart, get your junk and get out.  Maybe it's just me, but I'm also more acutely aware now of being watched by cameras:  eliminate the old dude and the door, and just watch people from afar via camera.  Soulless.

And beyond just the greeters, you can't find associates anywhere (especially at the paint desk).  I understand that there might be a security risk for greeters, that if someone tries to steal something, gets caught, that they could pull a weapon then dart - so here's a thought: why not combine the greeter role with a security role?  Install armed, tefloned folks at the door, and instruct them to smile and say "hello".  How bad would that be?

The soft core women's magazines they sell at checkout

The checkout lane at Walmart is stocked with trashy, soft-core pornographic women's magazines, depicting women in various states of undress and discussing topics far to filthy to bother repeating here.  At least in some of the local gas stations they keep magazines like these behind the counter wrapped in paper, but for some reason, the trashy women's titles are right out in the open, where, as you're stuck behind someone paying for their 47 items (in the 20 item express lane) with pennies, all your eyes can take in is either the hydrogenated junk food, or the barrage of women's bodies advertised like slabs of meat.

These sex-obsessed publications have no place in a family store like Walmart, and are little more than soft-core smut to distract people in line. 

The garbage soft core and horror/gore movies (and games) that they sell

Walmart seems to have no problem with selling disgusting films of a mature rating.  Although they don't just out and sell porn, they aren't that far off with big advertisements for pastry-assaulting films like "American Pie", and there's no shortage of strong, grizzly horror films on their shelves (one title I saw recently featured a cover with a woman mostly devoured by bugs.  Great family title there, Sam Walton...)  And unlike the video places that rent out adult titles, that at least do viewers of hiding away their smut in a back room, Walmart puts all of their garbage right out in the open, often right at eye-level for kids.

The atrociously slow auto service center
I can't even imagine what takes so long to do something as simple as an oil change, but somehow Walmart can turn this into a 2-hour ordeal.  And step out into the car shop to see how things are going and you get bombarded with the stench of a thousand cigarettes.  Oil change, tire rotation, a massive soul-draining wait and lung cancer, all rolled into one.

They take all my money
I live in an area where Walmart is all you get, so when I need basic house goods, I could either order through Amazon (which is just as evil in their inventory) or buy a couple over-priced items at the local country store.  I easily shovel out thousands of dollars to this monster each year, and sadly, I don't have any alternatives.  They suck away my meager pay each month and there's little I can do about it, so I guess I have to deal with their junk inventory and inhuman staff.

Final thought:  I was in the toy section of Walmart recently and saw, along the floor level, a copy of the shooter game for 'Walking Dead'.  So a grizzly killing game involving shooting zombies belongs in the toy section?  (I watched a couple episodes of Walking Dead on Netflix and I was NOT impressed.  For one thing there's nothing original about the show.  And while I'll deal with some of the violence, episode 2 begins with a sex scene that, as far as I'm concerned, was graphic enough to shatter any interest in the series completely (as well as an interest in anything AMC is going to play.)  So by putting this game in with the toys what is Walmart saying? 
I need to convert to Amish...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Low-budget theme park rides

For some morbid reason I enjoy watching POV videos, if for no other reason than to partially enjoy the theme park experience without the cost, the heat, and the pushy eastern Europeans. But another purpose they serve is validating why I'm better off NOT wasting the money, simply because I can identify the faults that make the ride not worth bothering with.

Case in point: the 'Men in Black' ride, which is basically just the Buzz Lightyear ride, but not as colorful. In fact, aspects of the ride look distinctly cheap and cheesy, like they painted some of the monsters on carved sheets of plywood.


Were I on this ride, I'd be grimacing at the schlocky effects, that are less than convincing for a ride based on such a big-budget film series. Maybe the bar is set high with Disney rides like the Haunted Mansion, which even though it was designed and built decades ago, is still hard to top even with modern technology, 3d effects and what not. If I had stood in line for an hour to get on this MIB ride,

I'd be a little bit cheesed after seeing this. It's like they refurbished some circular fans and propped these with paper mache monsters.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Stupid Spotify Ads

Can't figure out what the deal is with Spotify radio.  It's a robust internet radio with many songs to choose from, and I've spent a ton of time on in trying out new and interesting music.  But the commercials that they play consist of advertisements for either Kentucky whiskey or contraceptives.  What sort of drunken freak do they suppose that I am?

Russell Moore and 'Red Ragtop' by Tim McGraw

I generally enjoy the podcast by Russell Moore of Southern Seminary called "the Cross and the Jukebox", in which Dr. Moore gives a Christian overview of different songs, generally of a classic country flavor but also including more contemporary numbers as well.  Recently he covered the song Red Ragtop by Tim McGraw, an annoying song with an even more annoying pro-abortion message nestled within it. 

What struck me about this song (and what I shared in the comments, and which was apparently too graphic to note, as it was deleted) was the fact that to me the title of the song, "Red Ragtop", has embedded within in the sound of "red rag", which in a way is evocative to me of hemorrhaging following abortion, namely the aftermath of the grizzly, abortive D&C procedure in which the unborn child is destroyed (something not usually talked about by the "women's health" propagandists of the mainstream media.  If we all believed the mainstream media, abortion would be described as nothing more than a "health decision" with no long-term health and/or psychological ramifications.)  I suppose I can see how the comment was irrelevant, but then again, half of what I post in my 1000+ some Disqus comments online are generally irrelevant.  I rarely go back to my comments once I leave them, but I speak my peace and move on.  It's generally confrontative basement-dwellers that spend all day following a comment thread.  Not me.  I don't care.

But in the situation with this comment, I was morbidly curious to see if it would land, and alas, it didn't.  Still, the song title brings to mind the less-than-pleasant aftermath of abortive butchery to me, of failed elective surgeries, of 9-11 calls from abortion clinics that are unable to provide adequate "women's health" when abortions go bad. 

I have a fear that we're going to wind up with the incumbent for another 4 years, and that's going to mean more legislation geared towards killing the unborn, at the expense of the collective taxpayer.  I really fear for the direction this country is going sometimes.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Al Mohler's daily podcast is good as always, but it always makes me chuckle when, addressing news stories related to unwanted pregnancy and birth control, he makes comments about "pregnancy as something that must be avoided at all cost".  If Mohler had more of a Voddie Baucham view of Christian family size that sort of statement would have a lot more impact, but when a Christian decides to have only two children...?  Isn't that functionally "pregnancy as something that must be avoided at all cost"... after a convenient number of children?

A Valid Abortion Debate Question (free to be used at the political debate of your liking)

I've been percolating this question in my head for awhile now, originally thinking this would be ideal for a presidential debate question, but the more I think about it, this could be a fair question to ask the pro-abortion candidate at ANY political debate. I think this is a fair question, yet at the same time is a massive setup that cannot be answered by a politician without either looking very evasive or looking really awful (or both).  I post this here since I will probably never get a chance to use it, but if anyone reading this, for any reason, happens to be at a political debate and wants a good question, feel free to use it. Maybe you are the one debating the pro-abortion candidate, or maybe you're just someone in the audience who gets to ask the pro-abortion candidate the question. Whatever the situation, feel free to use this one, as I think this is a fair and thoughtful question to ask anyone who supports abortion...

Good evening, (Pro-abortion candidate Name)
I would like to propose a role-playing scenario (that I believe is a completely plausible) and I would like to hear your particular response to this situation:

You are visiting a local Planned Parenthood clinic in your district, to thank your voter base for their support, and while there the clinic facilitator takes you on a tour of the building. While on the third floor you pass the area where the live-birth abortions are performed. A doctor is about to help a "patient" and, seeing you, comes over, shakes your hand and thanks you for your support of "reproductive freedom". He looks at you in all seriousness and then makes an unusual request. "Our principle nurse is out today," he begins, "and I'm wondering if you could help me out."

Puzzled, you tell him that you have no medical qualifications and are in no position to help out. Seeing your confused expression, he laughs and assures you with "Oh, don't worry. I'm just doing a live-birth abortion today. Basically, I give a drug to a woman who's several months into her pregnancy, and it will cause her to prematurely go into labor, delivering the fetus alive. All I need for you to do is put on some scrubs and sit over there in that rocking chair. I will hand you the fetus after it's been delivered, and all you need to do is hold it until it dies of exposure. All told, it shouldn't take more than 10 minutes. Then the medical incinerator is right behind you."

So that's the scenario. Considering your views on a "woman's right to choose" that you believe in, if presented with this scenario, would you participate? Would you hold that living child and be willing to let that child die of exposure in your hands?